Host Families

Welcome to the Host Family page.  Here you will find resources for hosting an international student.

Be Ready for Your Host Son/Daughter

Basic Environment Check

1. A spacious private room.

2. A bed with linens, adequate storage (such as a closet or a dresser), adequate lighting, a window, and a desk with a lamp and a chair.

3. Basic toiletries such as soap, towels, toilet paper, and laundry detergent.

4. MEALS:  Three meals a day plus snacks shall be provided for the home stay student by the host.

5. Internet Service

6. A pleasant and welcoming home environment

Family members and emergency contact persons introduction:

Provide Home address, home phone number, family members’ contact phone number, emergency person contact phone number to the student.  Make sure that the students put it in their wallet.

Check all your host student’s documents

You should have:

1. Copy of insurance card & Insurance Policy

2. Ivy Bridge A5-1 and A5-2 Medical release form

3. Medical records (immunization record and physical exam)

5. Passport and Visa (familiarize yourself  with the content and monitor the expiration dates and make sure the student places it in a secure place)

If you have not received these documents or have lost them please contact your student coordinator. 

First Week Events

Please prepare the first week events to help students adjust to their new American life, such as:

Grocery store shopping (if you can take students to a local Asian grocery stories to buy some dumplings, noodles, buns as their comfort food, that will be great!)

Local community/City tour

Let students be familiar with the local post office, hospital, library, police station, restaurants, fast-food restaurants, community basketball court/swimming pool, bank, shopping mall, movie theaters…..

Quality Time

Familiarize yourself with your student's school:

  • Always invite students to watch TV or News with your family. Have conversations about news or programs.
  • Watch student cultural orientation video with your host kids.  (See link below)
  • Review your host student's school website with your student and discuss important information: Important dates (orientation, registration), school uniforms, textbook/school supplies requirements, school hours, etc.
  • School contact information (international student coordinator, admissions director, guidance counselor, etc.)
  • Getting to know more about students’ family, interests, their hometown. At least 30 minutes a day to help students open themselves up to you.
  • Let student show their China home from google map. You will have a better idea about what their daily life looked like back at home.     

Signs of Homesickness  

Please be aware of any signs of homesickness in your host kid

Emotional Signs

When student’s comfort zone is abandoned, negative emotions can surge. They may feel sad, lonely, or even anxious.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of homesickness can include nausea and sleep disturbances, experience stomachaches or headaches. According to a paper published in "Pediatrics," the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, between 6 percent and 9 percent of surveyed children report homesickness associated with severe symptoms of depression and anxiety. 
Physical symptoms of depression are wide-ranging and can include aching limbs and joints, digestion problems, fatigue, and changes in appetite. Panic attacks are a common sign of anxiety and are accompanied by asthma-like symptoms of breathlessness, heart palpitations and sweating. Pain in the heart area is another sign of anxiety.

Behavioral Signs

Behavioral symptoms are useful in identifying others who might be suffering from this adjustment disorder. Signs vary widely but include social withdrawal or an unwillingness to engage in and commit to social events. In a work or college context, laziness within the first few weeks can be a manifestation of the lethargy associated with homesickness

** If you experience your host kids not being interested in social activities, or being lazy or emotionally low, please don’t jump to conclusion that they are lazy, they are disrespecting your family rules or are not interested in your family. It may just be homesickness but they don’t even recognize it. So, please be more patient, give them more space, help them to make friends in schools, and do your best to keep them active.  

Understanding cultural difference

We need to remind all our host families: Cultural difference can cause lots of frustration, conflicts, misunderstandings and tension between you and your host student’s relationship. Please be opened minded to respect and learn from different cultures. Students are raised by their own culture for 15 or 16 years, it’s impossible for them to change their habit and adjust to American culture immediately. It may takes months or years and even then, they may not change because of the cultural background. Therefore, please have a sense of humor when encountering cultural differences.      

Here are some reminders:

Direct eye contact to elders is disrespectful in China. They may not look at you when they are talking to you.

They do not do “Hugs”, usually handshakes. You may need to teach them how to do a good hug.

They don't have soft words. Their language may be very direct. Don’t feel offended if they forget to day thank you and forget to say “please”. Just guide them occasionally “ Here in America, we usually say please when we ask for something’s and we always say thank you for getting help. It will be nice “we” can all do this all the time” ( use “we” instead of “you” )

They usually don't have experience of family gathering time, Room is their comfort zone.

They don’t plan things in advance. They like to plan things at the last minute. So, please prepare a calendar , white board or sticky notes posted in the kitchen or dining area, train them how to plan and schedule with family together.  

They don’t have bed sheets, so sometimes they will sleep under the comforter and not the bed sheet. Please guide them.

They don't always use the bath curtain when shower properly. Please explain how to use curtain during shower and explain to them the “reason”.

They may “smile” when they feel sorry; the smile is not trying to challenge you or get your upset.

They may lie or deny wrong behavior because they don't want to make you upset. The value of being honest is not the priority value back in their home country. They rather tell some white lies in order to not make people upset with them. When you find this type of situation, take time to explain to them it’s okay to make mistakes. But it will be hard to build up trust again if they tell lies or make excuses. Making mistakes won’t make you upset. But finding out they are telling lies may make you upset.  


1. Student Travel Procedures

2. Insurance Policy

3. Common Question and Answers

4. Quick Meal Ideas

5. General House Rules



Direct Deposit Form

Student Travel Permission Form

Bailment Form